Till then, the light’s soul and spiritis locked in its absenceand our longing for it.

Written by Kelly Starr and edited by Juliet Pye

I’ll admit that nothing can be more dismal than the mechanical habit of labellingan old man Urizen, a mature man Los, and a youth Orc—unless it be the habit of attaching to these divineimages still more outlandish names found in portentous and occult old books. Even when some kind ofcorrespondence can be established, the careful scholar discovers that, well, yes, Blake meant something likethat, but really it was quite a bit different—in fact, you might say it was just the opposite. Blake mustnot be relegated to his former state of splendid and irrelevant isolation from the main currents of thought,but he cannot be well represented in the guise of a philosopher, as is suggested by the inconsequential pagesin Gillham’s intelligent book, Blake’s Contrary States.

Believe in the light’s soul and spiritthat’s in its absenceand our longing for it.

'Jerusalem is Liberty', from William Blake's Jerusalem

He is an inspiration to all of us, full of colourful language and imagination. He battled through tuberculosis and only lived to be 25. He wanted to be famous, and he has well and truly lived up to his dream.

From Fugitive Colours (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2016). Reproduced by permission of the author.

Gloomy December.
The doldrum days of the dead of winter.
These are the shortest days
and the endless nights.
So wish for the moon
and long for the light.

A statue of Prometheus Unbound outside TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston

OGHAM: See discussion under , above.

Psychologically and sociologically, this tendency toward othering might have originated in humanity's tribal past, which required bands to cohere together as a close-knit groups and struggle against other tribal bands. The tendency is to feel stronger connections and allegiances to those who are "like you," and have an easier time empathizing with them, while rejecting or deriding "the Other" as inferior, strange, dangerous, savage, or foreign--often in connection with stereotypes or while simplistically lumping diverse groups together in a single category. Partly this mental process allows the thinker to do violence or harm to the Other without feeling corresponding guilt for one's actions, which can make othering a dangerous phenomenon in multi-ethnic or biracial societies. On the other hand, othering may have a positive function in helping form one's identity--as it is one way to create a sense of self by contrasting one's own group with external ones. In its original use , Said's interest was how European writers "othered" the cultures of the Middle East and Asia, depicting them as mystical rather than rational in mental outlook, pleasure-seeking and indulgent rather than disciplined and abstemious in behavior, and tyrannical rather than democratic in political tendencies. At best, western writers would use the Orient as a contrasting point with their own cultures, and at worst, psychologically project their own repressed (and unsavory) desires and practices on them. However, the term is widely applicable even outside of the Oriental context.

The Goddess of Democracy in Tiananmen Square

They’re still coming. Such is their eagerness to stand on the edge of the grave (though you can read the headstone easily enough from the path) that it has just had to be re-turfed and repaired. The dozen mourners who followed the 25-year-old poet’s coffin early on that February morning can hardly have imagined such a thing.

Sue Bradbury Trustee of Keats-Shelley Memorial Association

The grave isn’t even in the best part of the cemetery. While Shelley’s ashes are buried in a quiet, shady spot, Keats lies in an exposed corner with the noise of a main road in the background. But many of those who have visited it over the past two centuries have felt it to be – as Oscar Wilde did – the holiest place in Rome.